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- One way I think might help is by simplifying. I see Technology Education (2 pgs), but further up the list is Educational Technology (8 pgs). While these seem similar, they might be different (I haven't examined the pages), but how would a casual observer tell?
- For me, a "portal" should be a way for someone with little or no knowledge of WV or the wiki's structure to find resources.
- Also, "Technology/Sidebar" shows up with a redlink -- I'm guessing this is broken?
- @Historybuff: The redesigned portals were an attempt a couple of years ago to see if an approach similar to Wikipedia portals might increase user engagement. They didn't, as evidenced in part by it taking more than two years for the first comment to appear here.
- Technology education and educational technology are different. The first teaches about technology, while the second teaches with technology. I agree that they could be confusing to someone unfamiliar, but both of these exist as Wikipedia articles, suggesting that they are legitimately separate subjects.
- The Technology/Sidebar is a side effect of the module used to import the first paragraph of a featured resource. The code should be improved to address this, but you're the first person in two years to mention it. I don't have time right now, but if we believe it is a priority, I can see what I can do in the next couple of months.
- Thanks for commenting! -- Dave Braunschweig (discuss • contribs) 13:03, 29 September 2018 (UTC)
- It's disappointing to hear that there is little uptake after 2 years. I know moons ago there was talk about trying to improve user engagement ... is there any efforts into that still?
- If I'm the first person to mention it, it isn't a priority, that's for sure. :) I think there are probably dozens of things higher on the priority list, but I'm always looking at things with an eye to improve user experiences and simplify things for learners. I think it's still worth talking about, as we learn and get better by figuring out what isn't working or what is harder and trying to improve. Historybuff (discuss • contribs) 22:32, 10 October 2018 (UTC)
- @Historybuff: At this point there's very little community engagement anywhere. Educators who have their students use Wikiversity are generating a good bit of usage on their specific projects. Others have their own unique research interests. But there is no current effort at overall Wikiversity improvement. Monthly Wikiversity:Statistics show that pages primarily become popular based on Internet searches rather than any local organizational efforts. I'm always torn between efforts to clean up the thousands of pages of questionable content no one looks at, and focusing on a few high priority projects that get dozens or hundreds of visits daily. Good content brings additional users, and bad content turns away potential contributors. But my free time is quite limited now, and probably will be for the remainder of this academic year. Just keeping up on the vandalism is the best I can do for now. Please look around and consider what high-impact changes we could try and let's see if they actually have an impact. -- Dave Braunschweig (discuss • contribs) 13:29, 13 October 2018 (UTC)
- @Dave Braunschweig: I remember Cormaggio back in the day was quite the advocate of Action Research, and that sounds like a good approach to this problem. (I'm not sure a portal talk page is the best place to have this discussion, but we'll play the ball from where it's at).
- Do we have anti-vandal tools that are helping? What I'd say is that those are critical, because most vandalism is silly stuff, and having it consume any amount of time is a waste. You've already identified what I suspected a long time ago -- good content drives contributions, and bad content drives away.
- One low-effort thing we could do is to identify and promote excellent learning resources. In this case I'm talking about resources that exist, but making sure they are rotated through the front page, linked from relevant WP articles, and are reflected as such in search results. Another effort we could undertake is to build a "how to make a great learning resource". I've been looking at a few pages, and they are either recipes or lists, and if your a novice it would be completely useless. One more quick idea -- is to have a popup (similar to the periodic donation one) that explains a bit about the site, and maybe points to a page that has that lists the excellent resources?
- Now, I used to have access to the tool server, but not anymore. I don't have a lot of free time, but I wouldn't mind doing a little Action Research Project (who knows, maybe I can write a paper on it) that might give us some insight and some tangible actions. Ideas, thoughts, flames? Historybuff (discuss • contribs) 20:48, 13 October 2018 (UTC)
- @Historybuff: Yes, we have anti-vandal tools that are helping. It is much easier now to identify new and anonymous editors, and both Meta globally and we locally have added abuse filters that limit many types of abuse.
- I like the idea of reviewing and identifying our featured resources. I'm not sure I'd want a pop-up, but we could enhance where and how we link to featured resources on pages that new users might frequent.
- They've moved the tool server. Anyone can get access now, but I think it uses a different login. I've used it some, but not recently. Instead, I have an extensive library of bot code I can use for action research, if it seems appropriate. My time will be very limited until the semester break, but I should be able to assist with something then. Kick some ideas around for a couple of months and see what you come up with. -- Dave Braunschweig (discuss • contribs) 02:12, 15 October 2018 (UTC)
- @Dave Braunschweig: My idea behind the "pop up" is something eye-catching that gets people's attention. The donation "beg" screen does that, and that is what I was thinking about. It could be keyed to only do it once (once per IP? once if you don't have a certain cookie?), the idea being that a first-time visitor gets a bit of context.
- I definitely have some ideas, and hopefully I'll have some time to play with them. I think the first thing for me to do is to work a bit on improving some resources I am knowledgeable about, and then I can move on to experimenting on a broader scale. I appreciate the discussion and feedback! Historybuff (discuss • contribs) 03:50, 18 October 2018 (UTC)
- I've started poking around with Templates -- I'm not sure this is quite what I was thinking about, but it might be a start. Historybuff (discuss • contribs) 04:14, 20 October 2018 (UTC)